Women's gymnastics: Pioneers second again at nationals

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Peter Cochefski/TWU Athletics
The TWU gymnasts pose with their second-place trophies at Saturday night's USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships team finals in Providence, R.I.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — TWU scored a 194.725 to finish second at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships on Saturday night.

The runner-up finish was the fifth in a row for the Pioneers, while Bridgeport captured its sixth consecutive title.

The Purple Knights scored a season-high 195.225, while Seattle Pacific posted a 194.550 to finished third. Air Force placed fourth at 194.350.

The Pioneers opened the meet on vault and scored a season-high 49.000. All six gymnasts scored 9.725 or higher, led by senior Bethany Larimer. She tied her career-high 9.900, while senior Brittainy Johnson scored 9.825. Junior Stephanie Repp posted a 9.800 and was followed by senior Amy Winczura (9.750) and senior Margaret Mayfield (9.725).

TWU moved to uneven bars in the second rotation and posted another solid score with a 49.175. The Pioneers were led by senior Courtney Cochefski with a career-high 9.925. Larimer and freshman Katie Simpson each scored 9.850, while Winczura finished with a 9.800 and junior Spencer Jones a 9.750.

TWU stumbled on balance beam in the third rotation and counted a fall. The Pioneers finished with 47.550 and were led by Repp with a 9.675.

TWU regrouped in the final rotation on floor exercise and scored another 49.000, led by Winczura and senior Brittany Montalbano with 9.825 apiece. Both tied their career highs. Repp posted a 9.800 while Mayfield and Jones each scored 9.775.

“We are obviously disappointed with the outcome,” TWU coach Lisa Bowerman said. “We were set up well with a great start on vault and bars, but unfortunately our mistakes on beam cost us big time. We are looking forward to opportunities we have [today] to win some individual titles and finish this championship with some very strong performances.”

The meet will conclude today with the individual event finals at noon. Jones (beam and floor), Larimer (vault), Johnson (vault and bars), Simpson (bars) and Winczura (floor) will be in the mix for individual titles.

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